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The Virtual Vet Will See You Meow

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A televisit at the Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine in College Station, TX.

During the pandemic, numerous states temporarily loosened restrictions on veterinary telemedicine and many clinics as well as pet owners tried remote appointments for the first time. Some states are now considering permanently expanding their use.

Credit: Lori Teller

Milkshake and Pickles are reluctant travelers. So when Patience Warren needed to take the two elderly cats on a 12-hour drive in February, she was hoping to get some pharmaceutical assistance, especially for Pickles, a petite gray tabby with a history of severe motion sickness.

The dilemma: Taking Pickles to the vet typically triggered the very distress Ms. Warren was hoping to avoid.

"Within like a minute of being put into her carrier and put into the car, she would usually vomit or lose her bowels," said Ms. Warren, a political researcher in Missouri. "She would also just cower and be really scared and meow. And I didn't want to put her through that stress."

Over the course of the pandemic, Ms. Warren had grown accustomed to having her own health needs met virtually, seeing a doctor, therapist and nutritionist online. She wondered whether there were veterinarians who might prescribe anti-anxiety and motion sickness medications over a video call. When she searched online, she was surprised to discover numerous options.

From The New York Times
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